• Dave Foord
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How to locate images on Wikimedia and embed into Moodle or Blackboard

There are lots of people that work in education that sadly think that Wikipedia is the work of the devil, and think that it will undermine academia as we know it, and should be banned at all costs. There are others that think Wikipedia is a wonderful source of information, and there is no point of looking elsewhere for facts.

Regardless of your viewpoint on Wikipedia (which hopefully is somewhere between the 2 extremes above), one aspect of it that is very useful, is that there is lots of high quality media (mainly images, but also videos and audio) available on Wikimedia Рthat can be easily (and legally) embedded into a VLE like Moodle or Blackboard.

As organisations scramble to set up online courses, the reality is that most people won’t have the time or money to generate their own high quality media – and I don’t think we need to, seeing as there is so much media out there that we can easily and legally use – the key is the academic structuring of this information and the asking of challenging and stimulating questions around this available media and information. e.g. the image below identifying a muscle in the human body – I couldn’t draw this myself, and it would be a waste of my time trying to.
Musculi coli sternocleidomastoideus

The video below shows how easy it is to find an image on wikimedia and embed it into a VLE like Moodle or Blackboard

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Locating free wi- hotspots

Many coffee shops, pubs, public spaces etc are realising the benefits of offering free internet access. I for one do a lot of travelling, and although I have a 3G modem, in certain places this isn’t fast enough, so am often looking for a coffee shop with wi-fi access. This website can help locate them

http://www.jiwire.com/

Now obviously this only works if you have checked this out before arriving at a town, otherwise you would need to find an internet connection to locate other internet connections.

School’s limiting staff access to the Internet

I am currently running some staff development at a school in Coventry, and having run a session on some of the wonderful things that can be achieved with the Internet in education, I was informed by the attendees that they are limited to 2 hours of internet access per week.

This to me is ridiculous, as most of the ideas that I brought to the session they won’t be able to achieve. The 2 hours limit includes the use in teaching sessions (e.g. the tutor using the Internet with a projector), so this will make it very difficult to embed the use of the Internet into learning. I hope issues like this aren’t occurring when my kids reach school age.